December 3rd saw the 80th British Jewellery Giftware & Finishing Federation’s Benevolent Society Ball take place at The St John’s Hotel, Solihull. Early indications show that a record £32,000 was raised on the evening for the charity.
This black-tie event attracts guests from the jewellery, giftware, surface engineering and luggage and leathergoods associations which are member organisations of the British Allied Trades Federation and whose industries are served by the Charity.
Speaking on the evening David Simons, the Benevolent Society’s Chairman, said he was delighted to welcome the 380 guests many of whom were using the event as the perfect occasion to celebrate Christmas with their colleagues. He was equally delighted to thank, the organisers – Lynn Snead and Gill Price – for all of their hard work in creating a highly successful night out.
The majority of funds raised came from an auction by David Doyle of Jewellery Brokers, the Society’s Vice Chairman. The lots sold included: ‘Lunch for 12’ at The Assay Office Birmingham sponsored by both the Assay Office and the jewellery manufacturing company Hockley Mint: a stunning Hallmarked Britannia Silver Wine Decanter donated by Rebecca H Joselyn and sponsored by Stuart Wibberley and his team at the bullion company Umicore.
Such was the interest by those guests bidding on the evening to acquire one of Rebecca’s exceptionally unusual pieces that she agreed to make a further decanter after Cookson Gold kindly offered to donate the silver needed to hand-make this second piece. The Benevolent Society and attending guests were delighted with this generosity.
Another highly sought after auction lot was the inaugural ‘T H March Clay Pigeon Shooting Day and Dinner’ which engendered fiercely competitive bidding by several interested parties. Eventually Ben Roberts of the jewellery manufacturer Clogau Gold secured this fabulous day out for his company.
A ‘Private Viewing of The Staffordshire Hoard’ (the recently discovered Anglo Saxon treasure on show in Birmingham City Museum) followed by a visit to the City’s School of Jewellery which is working on a project to recreate some items from within the Hoard, was subject to intense bidding and was finally secured by a joint bid from Oliver Sutton of Charles Green and Jan Doyle of Jewellery Brokers.
The hugely successful tombola and raffle were generously supported, as always, by the Federation’s Giftware Association and its Chairman Michael Papé of Ravensden PLC who attended the event. Ravensden also generously donated some orang-utan and tiger toys that were well received by guests as were some large teddy bears donated by Rudell’s the Jewellers with all of the proceeds going directly to the Charity.
The Benevolent Association Charity was also delighted to receive a substantial donation from the Surface Engineering Association which was represented by a table from Ashton & Moore and its Chairman, Stephen Parkes of LB Parkes & Co.
Tables at this year’s event were taken by many companies, including: the CMJ, Cooksongold, Charles Green & Sons, Gemporia, Continental Jewellery, Diamonds Please, Weston Beamor, Hockley Mint, Clogau Gold, C W Sellors, T H March, Mastermelts and Gecko, to name but a few.
The date for next year’s Benevolent Society Ball is Thursday 1st December and will also be held at The St John’s Hotel, Solihull following the success of this year’s Ball and early bird tickets at a special rate can be obtained by contacting either Lynn Snead or Gill Price at the Federation (0121 745 4613 or 0121 237 1138.
National Association of Jewellers’ Inaugural Awards
Incorporated within this longstanding annual event were the very first National Association of Jewellers’ Member Awards which are designed to flag up all that is most excellent about the UK’s extremely diverse jewellery industry: its bright new talent, its design skills and creativity and its capacity to truly serve its customers whether they are other businesses, on-line jewellery buyers or the consumer in the High Street.